If you’ve passed by the Chazen Museum of Art recently, you may have noticed a large screen on the second floor with videos of people smiling and dancing. This is only a glimpse of the magical, colorful world of “SUPERNOVA,” created by artist and University of Wisconsin master’s student Anwar Floyd-Pruitt.
Floyd-Pruitt began his professional life in the general workforce but discovered that it wasn’t exactly for him. As a child, he was involved in many art practices, including violin, ballet and acting. It wasn’t until his 20s that he realized his potential within the art world.
“Creating art gave me this opportunity to take a look inside rather than always working toward some sort of external goal,” Floyd-Pruitt said.
With a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard, he re-entered school more than a decade later to earn a bachelor’s in sculpture and digital studio practices at UW-Milwaukee. He recently finished his master’s at UW-Madison. “SUPERNOVA” being the culmination of his studies.
Floyd-Pruitt dedicates his success to the hours of practice he put in through his master’s degree, creating many works that may not see the light of a gallery.
“A lot of that work sparked my interest in the flexibility of identity,’ Floyd-Pruitt said. “Particularly how we see ourselves and how the view of oneself is impacted by how others view us.”
He is also grateful for the community of professors, professionals and classmates that helped him expand his artistic ability and discover this major theme of his practice.
His latest exhibit, “SUPERNOVA: Charlotte and Gene’s Radical Imagination Station” is the winner of the 2020 Russell and Paula Panczenko MFA Prize, and this earned it a spot in the Chazen’s exhibiting season.